"Foul" off the field of play

Discussion in 'Referee' started by Statesman, Feb 18, 2005.

  1. Statesman

    Statesman New Member

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    Either Jim Allen is getting lax, FIFA updated something without my knowledge, or I'm going crazy. The restart is a dropped ball from where the ball was when play was stopped, not an indirect free kick. Restarts for fouls/misconduct always occur where the infringment occurred if on the field, or where the ball was if off the field. Never from where an offense is "initiated," if there even is such a thing.


  2. Ref Flunkie

    Ref Flunkie Member

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    I'd agree with you (not that that means much). However, choice (C) of yours is always an option ;).
  3. Statesman

    Statesman New Member

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    That isn't much of a comfort!
  4. Dfuntime

    Dfuntime New Member

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    Question Statesman: If the defender commits the foul outside of the field of play you cannot restart it with a direct or indirect kick. Assume the foul occurs 2 meters over the goal line, within the width of the penalty area. You cannot restart with a free kick from where the infraction occured because it would be outside of the pitch. You certainly would not award a penalty, as the fooul was not within the penalty area. How do you restart? A drop ballon the field of play closest to where the transgression occured? if so, a one man drop ball? Your insights are appreciated.


  5. Jasonisimo

    Jasonisimo New Member

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    A foul away from the ball is restarted with a drop ball (after you card the offending player(s), of course). Is that gyst of this scenario?

    Also, if this attacker went so far off the pitch to avoid a defender, couldn't he rightly be cautioned for leaving the field of play without permission?
  6. HoldenMan

    HoldenMan New Member

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    This question is covered by the Q&A.

    I'm not going to quote, but if a player is fouled off the FOP, then you issue a caution for misconduct and restart with a drop ball where the ball was.

    Any DFK or IFK would be where the offence is - impossible in this case. Drop ball is the only option.

    Any other time a player is fouled off the ball, but on the FOP, will be a DFK or IFK as appropriate.


    Stepping off the field to run past an opponent may be considered part of normal play, thus not cautionable. There may also b other reasons he's off the FOP - perhaps he was running hard to stop a ball from going out, stopped it on the line and his momentum carried him 5 yards past the ball....
  7. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator Staff Member

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    From Law XII:

    An indirect free kick is also awarded to the opposing team if a player, in the opinion of the referee:

    ...

    commits any other offence, not previously mentioned in Law 12, for which play is stopped to caution or dismiss a player.


    Now granted, the next line says that the IFK takes place where the offence occurred (which is, technically, impossible), but that doesn't erase the fact that any time a player (ie., not a substitute) is cautioned or sent off, an IFK is supposed to be given. Ultimately, it's a conflict in the text of the laws, but simple common sense says that, in such a situation, if we want to give any justice, an IFK is awarded, rather than a dropped ball.
  8. Gary V

    Gary V Member

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    Restarts for thrown objects are at the initiation point, if the contact point is off the field. Jim's interpretation is consistent with that - he's assuming that the perp remained on the field.
  9. Ref Flunkie

    Ref Flunkie Member

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    Yup I found it in the Q&A as well, but there was a little (*) at the end of it, and of course no where does it say what the (*) means!
  10. Statesman

    Statesman New Member

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    MassRef I do agree with your sentiment, and if the foul is that close to the field the referee should use better judgement and simply award the free kick. However, I'll take that train of thought a step further and advocate punishing with a DFK if the foul is of that nature. The reason being is that the interpretations do state the restart is a dropped ball when off the field, and that is a call we are trying to not make.

    The referee is attempting to sell that the foul did not actually, truly, occur "off the field." Instead we are selling that it was so close that ultimately it is for the referee to decide where the contact occurred and punished accordingly. And, as a referee, we are deciding it was "on the field" because that is where the foul "began." Not technically accurate, but works for the good of the game.

    Thus, if we were to award an IFK for what otherwise would be a DFK offense, the selling of the call breaks down. Only when the contact is close to the field but is very clear it was off the field to all involved that an IFK near the boundary line should be considered. And, in instances where the contact is well away from the field we have no choice but to restart with a dropped ball.

    There is only a certain amount of bending of the laws we can do before they snap completely, after all.
  11. Jasonisimo

    Jasonisimo New Member

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    Sure. If you are going to tweak the rules in this way (if you must) you will have to be consistent within what coaches and players (and, maybe, fans) "know" the rules to be, or else the referee will lose all respect for his/her knowledge of the rules. Not a good outcome.

    Still worse, you will leave yourself open to criticism if you award a DFK and the ball goes straight in for a goal, (which you must now award). What do you do if the foul is off the FOP but the point on the field closest to the incident is in the Penalty area? Award a penalty? If not, now you are making different calls on different areas of the field, and while that is somewhat expected around the PA, it's obvious to all what is going on. Don't you think you should simply follow the laws, restart with a drop ball, and go on? If anyone asks you for clarification later, you can point them to the book.
  12. nsa

    nsa Member+

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    The asterisk usually refers to the phrase:

    Subject to the overriding considerations listed under "Special Circumstances" in Law 8.

    In this case it means that you don't do a dropped ball inside the goal area if that's where the ball was when you stopped play for the misconduct.
  13. PVancouver

    PVancouver Member

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    The laws don't specifically state that a foul occurring off the field of play is not a foul. Theoretically, one could allow free kicks to be taken from off the field of play, and be legally within the laws. However, this would create a messy situation where the ball would re-enter play outside the field of play. Instead, I would propose the following text be added to Law 12 (in bold):

    A direct free kick is taken from where the offence occurred. If the offense occurred off the field of play, a throw-in is awarded at the nearest touch-line at the point nearest to where the offence occurred. *(see page 3)

    An indirect free kick is taken from where the offence occurred. If the offense occurred off the field of play, a throw-in is awarded at the nearest touch-line at the point nearest to where the offence occurred. *(see page 3)

    The current situation, where you can essentially foul a player without penalty (most fouls do not draw yellow cards) if you are off the field of play, is unacceptable to me. Awarding a dropped ball for a yellow card foul off the field of play is also unacceptable. Why not simply award a throw-in?
  14. bluedevils

    bluedevils Member

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    This is a tricky situation. As referees, we are probably lucky that this sort of situation rarely occurs! I do not believe I have ever seen it in a match I was officiating. Rarely seeing it means we are not very likely to interpret it properly.

    Some of the prior posts are well-meaning and for 90% of the games we do - i.e., not professional league games with assessors and videocameras watching - the practical, 'Law 18', common-sense approach is probably the right way to handle it. Plus, this allows the ref to avoid cautioning the player for the off-field foul, assuming that the contact was innocent enough not to warrant a caution if it had occurred on-field.

    I would say that regardless of how the referee handles this sort of situation (player is fouled off field of play), the players/fans/coaches are extremely unlikely to know the proper procedure and they are not going to fully buy into whatever the ref is selling. A DFK or an IFK on the field is probably a much easier sell, and perceived as closer to the 'right thing' to do than a dropped ball.

    It doesn't help that the Laws of the Game do not explicitly explain what to do in this sort of situation. Fortunately, several examples are provided in FIFA's Q&A on the Laws. But far fewer of us read that publication than the actual laws.

    None of this changes the fact that a dropped ball is the correct procedure, and if an assessor is watching you risk slitting your own throat with any other type of restart.

    The most recent issue of USSF's Fair Play includes a short article discussing different reasons why a player could be off the field legally, in spite of not having the referee's permission.
  15. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree completely, though I know that some have a problem with this "tweaking" of the laws. I've had a National Instructor/Assessor specifically advocate the above (awarding a DFK) when this scenario was brought up.
  16. Paddy31

    Paddy31 New Member

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    If the foul occurs off the field of play, is it necessary to stop the game? I wonder if you could/should play on and caution the offender at the next natural break in play, thus avoiding messy drop balls or dodgy free kicks.
  17. Grizzlierbear

    Grizzlierbear New Member

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    No reason you could not choose to play advantage IF one was apparant.

    Imagine an opponent runs by the keeper and peeves the keeper with a percieved unfair phyical contact, as the opponent falls into the goal and into the netted area behind the goalline. If the keeper throws the ball at him we l could award the goal assuming it CROSSES the goalline. But if it hits that player who is say a mere six inches out of the field of play and the ball comes back into play did that event REALLY occur OUTSIDE the field of play?
    Personally I too feel a DFK is the way to go if the incident is very near the touchline. I think there is NO doubt that if we see BOTH the fouler and foulie? way off the FOP when the misconduct occurs the dropball is specified

    I find the concept of initiating the foul by the player on the field to be similar to a thrown object where the infringement occurs at a different spot rather than where it originates. Yet we COULD interpret USB conduct in the actual event itself.
  18. NHRef

    NHRef Member+

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    Does the correct "answer" change at all if the offending player who committed the foul/misconduct is a sub? I think it is more likely that this would happen: an attacker is bringing the ball down the touchline and by passes an on field player by going out a step or two after passing deeper into the field. While out, a sub sitting on the bench area trips, grabs, hits, whatever the player.

    Now what? the offending player is not on the field, he is not a player, can you still caution him, or red card him? does it change the restart?
  19. Gary V

    Gary V Member

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    Fouls, of course, can only be committed by players against opposing players (and additionally, on the field while the ball is in play). Anything else is misconduct. (Please note that a player may be temporarily off the field with referee permission, either explicit or implied. That does not change her status of being a current player.)

    If the sub came off the bench to trip an active player, that's treated the same as outside interference, because it's not a current player. The restart is a dropped ball. But that sub can surely have committed misconduct, and is therefore shown the card of appropriate color. If "sent off", the team does not play short. However, they have one less in their pool of named (potential) substitutes, and his name cannot be replaced in that pool.
  20. Ref Flunkie

    Ref Flunkie Member

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    I would probably just red card the sub if he came off the bench to foul an active player. One caution for entering the field of play without permission, and one for USB. That will teach him from coming off the bench.
  21. NHRef

    NHRef Member+

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    I was thinking more along the lines of he never came onto the field, the field player temporarily and legally left the field of play, say to avoid a collision, or just sheer couldn't stop in time etc.
  22. bluedevils

    bluedevils Member

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    GaryV is right on the money.

    While studying the FIFA Q&As in the past few weeks, I started a list of 'smart things a naughty player should do.' Most of these I had never realized before. One example: a substitute warming up behind the goal spots an opponent who has beaten the GK and is about to score. The sub runs onto the field and trips the attacker, thus preventing the goal from being scored. The sub cannot be sent off for DOGSO and receives only a caution for entering the field without permission. Great way to save your team a goal, all without a sendoff or reduction in number of players in your side!

    Ref Flunkie, I do not think you are within your rights to issue a caution for entering field without permission AND for UB (for the 'foul'). While it may be a practical Sunday-game approach, I would not recommend it if anyone important is watching.
  23. Crowdie

    Crowdie New Member

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    NEVER let players warm up behind goals. Have them warm up on the touchline the technical areas are on.
  24. bluedevils

    bluedevils Member

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    That is sound advice, and I generally adhere to it. But you do tend to see it sometimes in professional matches, depending on how much room is available off the field.
  25. Ref Flunkie

    Ref Flunkie Member

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    Why not? Why should a guy that brings the entire game into dispute (say if he took someone down at midfield who could have a break away) be allowed to stay around? He basically commits two cautionable offenses on the same play. I don't care if the God of Referees is watching :), I will not have people running off benches to foul players (not that I've ever seen this happen).

    As for your example NHRef (thanks for explaining what GaryV meant, I apparently read it a bit differently), I'm with GaryV, this is much easier caution + drop ball then if a field player did the fouling.

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